However, the winter can be rather different between the islands. While it’s not a problem to arrive at a destination without a booking during low season, you will need to pre-book your hotels from approximately November to April. Peter Jackson’s film production company is located in Wellington. There are so many restaurants to choose from it’s not even funny, an abundance of them are lined up at Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter. Aptly named artist’s palette and champagne pools in the back, wai-o-tapu thermal wonderland in rotorua. If you are a LOTR fan, you can buy a book about the filming locations and visit them. While greater Auckland is huge and difficult to explore without a car, it’s easy to get around the centre by public transport or walking. It’s subtropical in Summer and still has reasonably mild temperature in Winter. Both islands offer a lot to do, and you can actually do pretty well anything in either. Still not sure which island is better, North Island or South Island New Zealand? This adventure capital of New Zealand and the birth of modern Bungy Jumping Queenstown is an adrenaline junkies playground. Here are some things to consider to help you decide. The South Island equivalent to Waitomo would be the Te Anau glowworm caves, about two hours from Queenstown. There are lots of photo ops on franz josef glacier. One of the first decisions you're likely to face when planning a vacation in New Zealand is which island—North or South—you are going to spend most of your time visiting. Obviously the longer you are going to spend in New Zealand the more you will be able to see. You could easily travel to New Zealand for half a year and most likely still not see it all. The three most active ones are the island volcano White Island (Whakaari in Maori), Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro. The Earth’s crust there is only thin, compared to the normal. Those natural hot springs are usually free for everyone to enjoy. The New Zealand ski season tends to be from June to late September with a few variations between ski fields. There’s rich wildlife in Fjordland and the chances are high you’ll see dolphins playing in the water and seals sitting on the rocks. We are Alex the Swiss Miss and Chris the South African Kiwi. In fact, you might be forgiven for thinking you are in different countries! Most international visitors arrive in Auckland in the North Island. It’s ultra delicious and has a lovely rose colour, even though it’s a white wine. It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience. Activities and Experiences in New Zealand's South Island The most famous of them is Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel Peninsula, where during low tide you get to dig your own hot pool in the sand. However, Rotorua is the Maori hotspot when it comes to tourism. We are living and working in Auckland but in our spare time you can often find us discovering beautiful New Zealand (also known by its Maori name Aotearoa). However, if you want to go to the South Island, be aware that getting there by car will take you a couple of days (including the ferry crossing of Cook Strait between the North and South Islands). MoaTrek tours cover it all, from golden sand beaches fringed with pohutakawa trees, ancient forests and geothermal geysers of the north, to the World Heritage glaciers, breathtaking fiords and spectacular high country of the south. What’s the best New Zealand SIM card for tourists (and locals)? The New Zealand Glowworm is endemic to Aotearoa and can be found on both islands. Even though there is some Maori Culture on the South Island, the North Island definitely wins this little North Island vs South Island race. That’s definitely not the case. In “Maori villages” like Tamaki or Te Puia, you can learn how the Maori used to live, see and learn how to carve wood and get to eat a hangi (a meal cooked in an earth oven. New Zealand is known for those once-in-a-lifetime kind of experiences. After some fun facts about New Zealand? You will rent a car in Auckland and drop it in Queenstown. The area gets the most rain of all of New Zealand and as a result, countless waterfalls tumble down the steep walls of the fjords. Major wine regions in the North Island are Hawke’s Bay in the east, Waiheke Island off Auckland (also known as the wine island) and Kumeu also in Auckland, Wairarapa Valley near Wellington and Gisborne, which is often forgotten on the list of wine regions in New Zealand. Today there’s a museum in its place. Experience New Zealand with our exciting selection of hassle free, all-inclusive group coach and bus tours that cover the entire country, both the North and South Island. The highest mountains of the country all lie in the South Island with the majestic Mt Cook being the king. The most Maori towns can really be found in the East Cape on the North Island. Travelers often wonder which island is better, but that's a question that … New Zealand Weather. So if it’s this you’re after, the South Island wins the North-or-South-Island race. First the roads into Wellington converge whether you are approaching on either State Highway 1 or State Highway 2. 10 Days North Island. So, it might be time to make some tough choices. Choose to explore just one region, or road trip from Picton all the way down to Bluff. That said, there are some things that you can only do in one and not the other. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi), making it the world's 12th-largest island. Interactive and Emotional: An All Blacks Experience Review, Weta Workshop Unleashed Review: Fantastic Creatures and Incredible Details, All the Waiheke Vineyards you’ll want to visit, Hamilton Gardens or How to travel the world in one day, Best Hunua Ranges Walk: Massey Cossey Loop Track, Magical Lake Karapiro Glow Worm Kayaking with Lake District Adventures, Skiing Mt Ruapehu In Spring: The Good, Bad And The Soaked. With itineraries from 8 to 25 days that deliver the right balance between sightseeing, activities and free time and ensure that all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the journey. The road to Mount Cook. Well, let me try and help you by explaining what makes the islands unique and what they have in common and hopefully, you’ll be able to make your decision. Length of the Ski Season in the North Island and South Island. North Island vs South Island New Zealand...what is the difference and how can you ever decide between the stunning and the beautiful? However, the less distance you decide to cover the more you will be able to appreciate the areas that you do visit. Most of New Zealand’s beaches are beautifully wild, no matter if you find them on the North or South Island. Often when we see images of New Zealand in the news or advertised as the most magical place to visit, for the most part, we see the stunning scenery of the South Island. Maori cultural show on the waitangi treaty ground, bay of islands New Zealand. Don’t get me wrong, there are hot springs on the South Island. Winner of the most famous town in the South Island and maybe in New Zealand goes to Queenstown. Whether you're planning a North Island fly fishing tour, a South Island wilderness honeymoon, a New Zealand family adventure or a luxury Queenstown golfing escape, we aim to make visiting our beautiful land effortless. If you have less time, it pays to decide to visit only one and really get to explore it. That said, the West Coast and Southland are the areas with the most rain in New Zealand, Nelson one of the sunniest. Wellington, too, has a large airport that handles a lot of domestic and international flights. Many other locations are in and around Wellington and around Queenstown and Mt Cook. So it should be no surprise that both the North Island and South Island have plenty. The best chance to see a Kiwi in the wild is on Stewart Island, and there are some in Northland and the wildlife sanctuaries. See the top New Zealand tours South Island can offer. You can find geothermal activity all over the North Island, but the most activity happens in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. About a million people visit Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound every year and marvel at its majesty. Before my first visit, some people were like, “Go straight to the South Island, it’s way more beautiful.” Others said the north has … Since Lord Of The Rings it’s well known that New Zealand is utterly cinematic. Discover Aotearoa is your go-to site for New Zealand travel advice. Perfect! Just ask at the i-sites (local tourist information), they will tell you where to find them. There are three more hot water beaches around the North Island, plus hot water rivers with their own hot waterfall, like Kerosene Creek in Rotorua or Spa Park in Taupo. In my opinion, four weeks is the minimum if you would like to see enough of both islands. New Zealand's North Island or South Island: Which Should You Visit? Because more than three-quarters of New Zealand’s population lives in the North Island, there is a lot more “going on” in the North Island.Both New Zealand’s largest city Auckland and capital city Wellington are on the North Island offering heaps of events to go to, nights out to enjoy, bars and eateries to indulge at, and more! The cheeky Kea can only be found in the alpine area on the South Island, stealing your car’s windscreen wipers and window seals. But the hot water has to be drawn from deep in the ground, while on the North Island, it bubbles to the surface and flows freely in streams or as springs. Aurora Australis by shellie evans via flickr. North island is smaller than South island but I find it easier to cover a lot of places and organize the trip on South island. The scenery is quite different between the North and South Islands. This volcanic zone spans from White Island in the Bay of Plenty southwards past Taupo to Tongariro National Park, the absolute hotspot being Rotorua. But if you want to see more of the country, rather than only skimming the surface, you’re going to have to decide which island you want to visit. FREE PHONE: +64 3 595 … The Complete Guide to Whitewater Rafting in New Zealand, Top 15 Things to Do in New Zealand's North Island, The Top 10 Offshore Islands in New Zealand, September in New Zealand: Weather and Event Guide, Your Trip to New Zealand: The Complete Guide, August in New Zealand: Weather and Event Guide, 9 Things to Do in Picton, Gateway to the South Island, Springtime in New Zealand: Visiting in October, Take a Road Trip on New Zealand's North Island, July in New Zealand: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See, The Ultimate Guide to New Zealand's West Coast. Understanding the weather patterns plays a large part in deciding between traveling to North or South Island. The North Island can be wet and stormy, although not necessarily that cold. Plan your NZ trip with me!Let me help you organise your New Zealand holiday! And although you can do the same on the Tasman Glacier, this one’s better known for its glacier-lake and floating ice that’s broken off of the glacier. 5. [title] New Zealand North Island [/title] Most people travel to the North Island because it’s easier to get around from Auckland or they want to just see Hobbiton. Our New Zealand South Island road trips tend to be longer than our North Island trips above, only because we live in Auckland, so have the option of taking shorter trips out the door. While most of the volcanoes are extinct or dormant, plenty of volcanoes are still well and active. No matter whether you travel the North Island or South Island and no matter the season, be sure to always wear layers as the weather can and does change within minutes. If you're coming to New Zealand on a ski holiday, the South Island has more ski fields to choose from. And I suspect it’s because we drink it all before anyone has the chance to export. Obviously, the most famous place to see them is in the Waitomo Caves, and I have to admit that after some hesitation (we were afraid of the tourist masses), we went to the Waitomo Caves and were blown away by the sheer galaxies of glowworms! All through the year, there are events that celebrate almost every nation living in Auckland (even I get a Swiss market once a year!). Green for the rolling hills with lush grass, and blue for the ocean and sky. But you probably have somewhere between two and four weeks to discover Aotearoa New Zealand. Discover Aotearoa - New Zealand from N to Z. If you google images for the term “New Zealand”, most pictures you’ll see are mountain and lake pictures from the South Island. Follow this same itinerary but start on Day 4. This, of course, makes sense, as the South Island landscapes are incredibly dramatic and picturesque. List of main New Zealand regions covering both the North and South Islands, and Stuart Island. You won’t be disappointed either way. Go straight to the Coromandel Peninsula (Skip the Pinnacles), then Rotorua, Taupo and Tongariro Hike. North Island vs South Island New Zealand: Which Is Better? get a tan at the gate to narnia: cathedral cove, coromandel. As New Zealand is not so big, weekend trips to either island are very easy so you can enjoy the best of both islands where ever you live. If you’re interested in volcanic activity, your choice in the dilemma between choosing the North Island or South Island is clear. In the South Island, the landscape is more dramatic. Obviously, if you do have the time, explore both islands, they are both so very special. Mountain Biking Taupo: Great Lake Trail - Should you do it? However, both islands are breathtaking – which if you know anything about New Zealand, shouldn’t come as a surprise.In terms of landscape, the North Island is known … It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. Kayak Donut Island (Whenuakura): A Mystical Wonderland. In that case, you would be better to focus your time on only one island. The South Island is magical. In the North Island you’ll travel to the Maori cultural centre of Rotorua, pass the volcanic World Heritage site of Tongariro National Park and visit our two largest cities. Still, unless you have a lot of time, it's best to focus your time on one or the other. 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